On Friday, ASIC released findings of its surveillance program into super funds’ annual member meetings, which were a requirement put in place by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 1) Act 2019.
The corporate regulator looked at annual meetings held between October 2020 and March 2021 by 24 industry, retail, corporate and public offer super funds holding around $1 trillion in assets under management.
The regulator noted the top themes based on member questions to super fund directors and executives were cyber crime, ESG considerations, fund performance and fees, the impact of COVID-19 and the super guarantee.
ASIC surveillance looked at whether funds were meeting obligations around the numbers of directors and executives present at member meetings, the publication of meeting minutes and providing an opportunity for members to have their questions promptly answered.
The regulator found trustees were meeting these obligations adequately, but that there was room for improvement in a number of areas.
These included providing clear information to members around how to submit questions before and during the meeting, providing a concise summary of the questions answered during the meeting to all members, and providing video recordings of the meeting to members.
“ASIC considers that annual members’ meetings are an important opportunity for trustees to engage with their members about key aspects of their fund and improve transparency,” the regulator said.
“Based on the findings, ASIC has identified examples of good practice that could enhance member experience. Superannuation trustees are encouraged to consider these practices and take steps to improve their meeting arrangements as appropriate.”